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Getting started

Screen shot of the Settings tab The first time you run DSLocator, it will start off in the Settings tab, where you will set it up for use. It should look something like this picture:

First, you need to tell it what kind of dish you have by selecting one from the Dish Type dropdown. Assuming you have a DataStorm, selecting this will enable the Data Source dropdown, where you will need to choose either the LCU-1 or D2/D3 positioner.

If you choose D2 or D3, you will also need to set the IP address of your positioner. This varies depending on your network setup; please refer to the D2 networking articles at DatastormUsers.com for guidance, or ask your installer if you're unsure about this value.

If you're going to use DSLocator to submit your position to the DataStormUsers.com map, you will need to set some of the values in the lower-left area. User ID should be picked up automatically; if not, log into the DataStormUsers forum (using Internet Explorer) and restart DSLocator. The other settings here generally mirror what you'll find on the Show your Location web page associated with the map.

There's one exception: If you sometimes update your map location from that web page (rather than in DSLocator), check the box labeled Check at startup for newer details at DataStormUsers.com. DSLocator will then check its saved details against DatastormUsers.com and display whichever is more recent. Be aware, though, that this can slow the startup of DSLocator if your Internet connection has a high latency.

The lower-right section of the Settings page contains items related to the Satellite-Friendly directory. The information here should rarely need changing; set it now and the program will remember it. Rig Type is simply a short description of your RV to help other travelers decide on the usability of campsites you submit; you can either type your own description or select one of the common types in the dropdown. Similarly, Rig Length will accompany your directory entries; this should just be the length of your primary unit, excluding any tow/ed vehicles. Finally, Transponder should be set automatically from the DataStorm interface, so don't worry about it here.

The section labeled Save my Whereabouts online is to enable your personal location record at this website. The User Name and Password are the same ones you use here, Find will retrieve these from Internet Explorer (or give you additional instructions if it can't), and Test verifies that they're correct.

When you've finished your settings, click Close to exit DSLocator, saving your changes.

When you arrive at a new location

Double-clicking DSLocator's Desktop icon will now start it in the Location page, shown below. Like the Settings page, there are three major areas. Screen shot of the Location tab

The top section shows your GPS coordinates (latitude and longitude) as retrieved from the DataStorm interface. The easiest way to use this is to have your DataStorm positioner powered up (and for LCU-1 users, have your DataStorm Administrator program running) before starting DSLocator. In this case, it should retrieve the coordinates automatically. Otherwise, click the Retrieve button to get them.

The lower-left region of this page contains a checkbox for whether you want to submit this location to the DataStormUsers.com map, as well as an area to enter a freeform Note to accompany your map entry. Type anything you want here; many people use it to show their current travel plans, for example.

In the lower-right area are campsite-specific details for Satellite-Friendly. Park/Campground Name, Site Facilities, and Site Number are pretty self-explanatory, but Satellite Rating needs a few words. This is essentially your estimate of the satellite coverage for the campground as a whole, on the following scale:

Excellent
Large areas of the campground are completely clear
Good
Several sites are mostly clear
Poor
Your site has at least a partial view of one satellite, but that's about it for this campground

You can get a reminder of these ratings by clicking the "?" button just above them.

Once your coordinates have been retrieved, and you have entered your location-specific information, the Submit Location button sends your position off to the map and Satellite-Friendly websites.

Finally, the Tools button will open a menu of other functions (some of which are only available when coordinates have been retrieved or entered):

Open D2Admin
Will open Don Bradner's D2 Administrator program, if it's installed on your system.
Search Satellite-Friendly from current location
Opens a list of campgrounds near you with known satellite coverage.
Search Satellite-Friendly somewhere else
Opens the main search page at this website to help you plan your next move. When you select a destination, we'll automatically give you driving directions to there from your current location.
Correct a Satellite-Friendly Entry
Allows you to make corrections to campground name, rating, and site information for campsites you have previously entered into the directory. Enter the latitude/longitude for the site, and the other information as you normally would for making a submission, but choose this Tools item instead of clicking Submit. Your new information will replace the old.
Map Current Location (with local search)
Opens a web page to Google Maps, at your current location. This can be useful to verify your coordinates, access a variety of mapping and routing functions, or to find businesses and services near to your location.
Aerial / Satellite Photograph
Links to a photo website (also at Google Maps): see your campground and its surroundings from above!
Sunrise and Sunset Times
Provides a link to DaylightMap.com, with a marker at your current location. This website shows the pattern of day and night on the Earth's surface, as well as providing times of sunset and sunrise for your location.
Weather - Here
Opens a forecast page for your current location.
Weather - at Satellite Uplink
Shows the current and predicted weather for your satellite's base station. This is handy because bad weather at the uplink can affect your satellite connection.